Mosquitoes that carry diseases have been found in South Dakota. Controlling the population of the harmful ones is challenging work.

It was announced last week that a person in Minnehaha County has tested positive for the West Nile Virus. Denise Patton who is the Health Program Coordinator for the City of Sioux Falls says right now the conditions are most favorable for these types of mosquitoes.

“The unfortunate side to that is the mosquitoes that like drier weather are the ones that spread the (West Nile) virus the best. That’s when we are most concerned. People think there are no mosquitoes and I’m not going to wear bug spray. That’s when people absolutely should be wearing bug spray.”

Of the over 40 different species of mosquitoes, Sioux Falls will see a fraction of those. Plus Patton revealed a smaller subset of those insects really draw intense scrutiny.

“There’s about a dozen (types of mosquitoes) that we see on a regular basis. Only a handful of those are ones that we really look at closely. We’ve got the heavy biters and the ones that are really good at spreading virus.”

Her Department oversees 32 traps inside and outside the city and Patton says the State provided a grant that allows her team to monitor a wider area.

If weather permits, the City will spray problem areas in advance of the Independence Day holiday when more people are expected to be outside.